United Torah Judaism MK Yitzhak Pindrus caused a political storm when the Walla news site revealed a recording of him saying he would like to blow up the Supreme Court.
“You know what my dream is? To bring a D9 [bulldozer] and blow up the building,” Pindrus said last week on Independence Day during a panel discussion at the Nehora high-school yeshiva in the Mevo Horon settlement north of Jerusalem.
Pindrus was debating Religious Zionist Party MK Simcha Rothman. Rothman is on the Judicial Selection Committee and spoke in favor of changing Israel’s legal establishment democratically.
Confronted by reporters in the Knesset on Monday, Pindrus said he had no regrets about what he said but that he spoke in humor and his critics overreacted.
Former Supreme Court president Dorit Beinisch said Pindrus’s comments were shocking, and Knesset Speaker Mickey Levy said they were sad.
Foreign Minister Yair Lapid and other coalition party leaders said the comments were a reminder of why the current government must remain in power.
“I won’t let you and your partners with your dangerous fantasies be able to carry them out,” Justice Minister Gideon Sa’ar told his New Hope faction.
Finance Minister Avigdor Liberman said the coalition was being targeted by Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar, Pindrus, Religious Zionist Party leader Bezalel Smotrich and opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu, who are all “delusional, messianic and lacking redlines.”
Liberman told his Yisrael Beytenu faction he believes the government will survive against the odds.
“I think most MKs are guided by simple logic,” he said. “There is nothing worse for Israel than elections. The interest of Israel is that this government continues to function.”
Labor leader Merav Michaeli likened Pindrus’s comments to “incitement and propaganda by those who brought about the Rabin assassination.”
Defense Minister Benny Gantz said elections would harm the country’s security. He told his Blue and White faction he would do everything possible to keep the government together and called for obtaining haredi (ultra-Orthodox) support for the coalition.
To that end, Lapid came to a surprise 70th birthday party for UTJ leader Moshe Gafni on Monday and praised him as a “good man who cares.”
Among his comments at the yeshiva, Pindrus said his job as an MK was “worse than being a plumber.”